Spotlight on Carers Week
Looking after the Sandwich Generation
During Carers Week (7-13 June) I want to focus on the ‘Sandwich Generation’. This term is often used to describe individuals who are looking after both their children and their parents.
As a result of their caring for others, these individuals often reduce their ability to earn and to plan for their own financial futures. Carers are the unsung heroes keeping social care going. Without their devotion the fragile and overburdened system would be in danger of collapse.
Taking care of business
In Carers Week I urge those caring for others to try to carve out some time for some financial care. Look after your ‘life admin’ with these check points to help to ease some financial strain.
- Have you organised Power of Attorney? This is vitally important to arrange so that you can act on behalf of your loved ones. We suggest speaking to a respected solicitor who is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly (such as Ian Macara at Bennett Griffin Solicitors).
- Consider if you are entitled to Child Benefit. If your partner is a higher earner, they can opt to pay tax on the benefit. Child benefit payments can help towards your state pension entitlement, even if you aren’t working. This is important as you need 35 years of national insurance contributions to qualify for the full amount payable.
- Are you entitled to Carers Allowance? Some carers who care for a loved one for 35 hours a week or more may be entitled to £67.60 per week.
- Is the person you are caring for entitled to Attendance Allowance? At the lower level this can be £60 per week, whilst at the higher level this is £89.60 per week. Attendance Allowance is not means tested, and is not taxable.
- Are their any alterations to the property which would make caring easier? Your local authority may give a grant for improvements such as grab rails, ramps and can supply equipment such as walking frames.
- An exemption from Council tax may be available if the person you are caring for has lost mental capacity.
More help and guidance on available benefits is on Government website.
Gill Lynes is a SOLLA accredited adviser, which means she has the skills and experience of working with, and understanding the needs of, older people, their families and carers. It is widely recognised as the Gold Standard in later life financial advice and provides the reassurance she can offer practical guidance and help you to make the right decisions at the right time.
For further advice please get in touch with contact me direct on 01903 534587.